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AU chief hails Africa-China cooperation
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African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare on Thursday hailed Africa-China cooperation, saying that such cooperation is "sincere and friendly."


During his talks with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Konare said Africans believe that China will continue to stand firmly side by side with Africa in the course of its peace and development.


He said Africa and China enjoy mutual respect, mutual support and profound traditional friendship, treating each other as equals.


In the past, China firmly supported Africa's struggle for independence and national liberation, Konare said. Under the new situation, China urges the international community to value Africa' s just stance and reasonable demand, commits itself to helping Africa eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable development, supports and takes part in United Nations' peacekeeping action in Africa, he added.


As a whole, African countries firmly stick to the one-China policy, objecting to "Taiwan independence" and supporting China's reunification, Konare said.


He also said the AU conference center, to be built on the Chinese aid, will become a new symbol of the friendship between Africa and China.


For his part, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said that during his current African tour, he was very impressed with Africans' desire to pursue peace and development and their profound friendship with Chinese people.


China has always attached importance to Africa, he said, adding that strengthening the unity and cooperation with Africa is an important part of China's foreign policy.


Yang said China firmly support Africa's efforts to achieve lasting peace and sustainable development.


He said that during his Africa tour, he had reached new consensus with concerned African countries on strengthening traditional and friendly cooperation with mutual benefit, and fully implementing the outcome of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, held in November 2006.


Describing African nations as "good friends, good partners and good brothers" of China, Yang said China will continue to work with Africa to push forward the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa.


On the Darfur issue, Yang said China welcomes the positive progress of UN-AU hybrid peacekeeping action in Sudan's Darfur.


The international community should continue to stick to the central leading role to be played by tripartite mechanism by involving the government of Sudan, the African Union and the United Nations, and push forward political negotiation and peacekeeping deployment in a balanced manner, said Yang.


China would continue to play a constructive role in resolving the Darfur issue properly, he said.


During the talks, Konare hailed China's efforts to send an engineering unit to Darfur, saying that the AU appreciated China's active and important role in the Darfur issue.


Konare added the AU would like to maintain cooperation with China in the Darfur issue.


During the talks, the two sides agreed to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in international and regional issues. Konare and Yang signed an agreement on economic and technological cooperation after the talks.


Yang and his entourage arrived in Addis Ababa on Thursday on the last leg of his four-nation African tour.


(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2008)

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